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Redhook Winterhook - Redhook Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Redhook WinterhookRedhook Winterhook

Educational use only; do not reuse.

460 Reviews

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Reviews: 460
Hads: 890
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 18.49%
Wants: 22
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Redhook Ale Brewery visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 10-08-2003

Regardless of whether you spend your winter months on the slopes, shoveling your driveway or just hiding out, Redhook Winterhook is a great way to chase off the winter chill. This year will be our 27th consecutive release of Winterhook. The recipe changes slightly every winter because nobody likes getting the exact same Holiday present year after year. Redhook’s 27th brew of Winterhook has roasted chocolate notes that smooth out the quick, spicy hop finish. The rich body and nutty, malty backbone make this winter ale slighty naughty and very nice.

38 IBU
View: Beers (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 890
Photo of mbrown26
3.24/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A nice amber, clear beer. Small head, but the lacing stays throughout the beer. A moderate amount of bubbles rise from the bottom.

S: Has a sweet smell of caramel.

T: The alcohol is a little bit forward to me. I tend to like the alcohol to be well hidden, but this beer is a little less balanced than I prefer. Some would really dig it.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with sharp notes on the front on the tongue.

D: An okay winter warmer. Will probably not buy anymore.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.2/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We did a blind taste test between this and 4 other Winter Seasonals to objectively determine which one was best. They beers were: Deschutes Jubelale, Anderson Valley Boont Winter Solstice, Big Sky Powder Hound, Alaskan Winter Ale, and Redhook Winterhook. Check it out:


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Photo of nathanho
2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Amber towards dark towards red; half a finger of head. Malt and earth smell. Taste of earth, spice, some metal - tang aftertaste with some straw and hops. Stale mouthfeel...sodapop. I don't feel inclined to have another. I think this is maybe better than this year's Wassail, which isn't saying much.

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Photo of GNWBC
3.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Since i live about 3 mins away from the Red Hook brewery i have come to expect all of their beers to be tasty. However i found this to be on the average side.

Pours a semi dark carmel color with a very thin head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: strong hop note right out of the gate followed by a milder spicy background.

Taste: again lots of hops upfront, being that is a native washington brew this is no surprising. some toasty malt cuts the bitterness very well and ends hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: goes down pretty easy, the carbonation is noticeable but isn't over powering.

Defiantly not the best winter warmer out there but i would gladly session with this after a day of shreding the gnar at Crystal Mtn.

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Photo of SerieDNo3
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2008 version, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber; light can travel through, but it definitely is not clear. Thin head that quickly became a film and left minimal lacing down the glass.

S: Mild alcohol on the nose, as well as some fruit and a slight metallic twinge.

T: Some spices and toasted malt, but it has a metallic presence that lasts throughout the beer. Not necessarily unpleasant, but also not something I would seek out.

M: For a beer with so little carbonation, it feels surprisingly thin.

D: It goes down pretty easily, given the generally thin mouthfeel. If I enjoyed the flavor more, I could put down a few of these with no trouble.

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Photo of mlm5641
3.34/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just to note, this year (winter of 2013/2014) is actually the 29th brew so some flavors noted before may sound different from what you're drinking. They tweak the recipe each year just a bit to keep things interesting. Great head with a nice dark copper/amber color below. Good balance of hops to the sweet malt so it has a bitter bite at the front followed by a smooth caramel like finish.

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Photo of hopbar
3.07/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Mo's Wines and Spirits, Fairfield, CT
12 oz. bottle; Mixed 6 Pack
Bottling Date: 10/10/06
Pint Glass

A: Poured a copper color with very little head. Didn't have many bubbles but left a nice coating on the glass.

S: Woody tasting with hints of sweet spices.

T: Very fresh, strong and piney with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Not much there; no bubbles, too thin.

D: Although I was happy with it, I do have many more to try this winter and I would not be disappointed if I didn't have it again until next year.

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Photo of pgroove
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the best mass-market winter brew out there (better than the sierra celebration, IMHO). Some tasty stuff although I know some peeps who weren't wowed with the flavors. It's a nice chestnutty brown and has an intense taste bordering on a mild porter. Def worth a pickup (the dude at Von's only charged me 2.50 for a sixer today--maybe its on sale).

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Photo of deciding39
3.31/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz tumbler.

A: Pours a clear amber/copper color. Good off-white, one-finger head. Decent lace as well.

S: Smells of mild, grassy hops, with smooth toasted malt in the background.

T: Roasted caramel malts and grassy, bland hops. Some fruity esters, maybe even a little diacetyl in the very back. Overall, pretty well-balanced.

M & D: Very smooth, excellent mouthfeel. Perhaps a little under-carbonated. Drinkable...but it really lacks any distinguishable qualities that would make it worth buying more than a six-pack.

Overall, nothing to write home about. I really think some more flavorful hops would make a better brew.

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Photo of Butch
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled 22 December 2006

Beautiful color. Deep cherry-wood, just a bit of red. Head was nice and tight, if short. Faded to a respectable lid that graced me with a perfect lace over the entire inner wall of the glass. Bless him for that. It stuck around for the whole beer and I was taking my time drinking it; writing this, watching TV, and answering emails in the process.

Smelled like an IPA. The deeper I drew, the more hops I got: score. At the end there was a hint of something spicy. A real winter ale.

The taste was, in my opinion, a nice example of the style. Not over top in any direction, no serious flaws, just a nice solid example of a style I love. All hops on the backend, but again, I got that subtle hint of something spicy . . . especially the last two swallows.

My goodness I love Christmas brews. I’ll be sure to get it next year, and probably again this year if it’s still available the next time I restock The Cache.


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Photo of CultureJamMN
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Local Macro watering hole had this on-tap, since it was the only thing that wasn't macro-lager, i figured i would give it a go (ESB was also on tap, had that too)

A darkish amber hue with red around the edges, virtually no head, and minimal lacing.

The smell seemed weak to me, but i did pick up caramel malts, with a note of citrus, and something approaching toast that's just a little overdone (not charred)

Good malts in the first tast, but nothing to write home about. The hops come on later, and actually leave a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. The citrus notes are there, but the caramel stands out.

This was thin for a winter warmer... mine felt a bit over carbonated as well, though that may own to the bar where i was at.

all in all, if you're drinking warmers, there are better out there. but if you're stuck in macro-land, and this is your craft/micro option, go for it.

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Photo of cschepers
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - pours a nice clear red. Bit of cream head. Nice lacing.

S - Not a whole lot going on. Little bit of sweetness & malt. Little bits of spice.

T - A bit of the same. Some spice and caramel sweetness, some nice evergreen hops. Hopped a bit more heavily than I'd expect... it isn't really all that much, just a little bit more than I'd expect in balance to the malt. Finishes with a bit more spice and the hops.

M - Fairly thin, nice carbonation.

D - Pretty good. Wouldn't be hard to finish several of these.

Ok winter warmer, nothing terribly exciting. There are better ones out there, but this is worth a try.

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Photo of Hawthorne
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour was a mild amber with a festive white head. The smell had a distictive pine scent which foreshadowed the hops to come. I'd concur with the previous reviewer who suggested this was one of the hopiest seasonal ales. Indeed, they made this beer as crisp as the season it celebrates. Happy Holidays!

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Photo of redwolf1
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-12oz. long neck bottle with a bottled date of 10/04/05. Also, the label on the bottle has changed in comparison to the one shown. Poured a nice dark auburn with about 1/4 inch head. In fact, a very nice head is still present halfway through drinking and about 10 minutes later. Good retention.
S-The smell is a little hard to pinpoint because I can't quite figure out if there is a smell at all. Not much there to speak of.
T&M-The sweetness that most winter seasonals have is not present, although it does go down smooth, probably because of the malt. Very subtle alcohol bite at the back of the throat reminiscent of good English ales (but like I said, reminiscent, not equal to).
D-Is the beer drinkable? Of course it is. Like many of us have stated before, we'd probably drink several if given the choice, but it's also not an awe-inspiring beer for the style, rather average in my opinion.

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Photo of wesl56
3.04/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) looks great, nice reddish color with a good sized head at first that leaves pretty heavy lacing all the way down

s) i didnt really notice much smell, slightly hoppy, floral hints

t) taste is rather weak, almost watered down... does leave a nice "ale-ish" aftertaste

m) medium-light, carbonation evident

d) very easy to drink, as i said tastes a little on the watery side

overall, not disappointed, but was expecting something different from a "winter beer" probably would not buy again

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Photo of ntillemans
3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured out into a pint glass.

A - dark amber, tan-brownish...low carbonation...less than a finger of head was gone within minutes

S - Slight roastiness and maltiness and a hint of fruitiness...but the overall culmination of that balance was neither appealing nor very potent...no alcohol smell I could detect.

T - I didn't care much for the balance. Not enough malt or (seasonal) fruity charm for a winter. Strong roast overtones and very hoppy (some fruitiness) but a very dry finish that I disliked.

M - Bitter, dry finish ... a lot of tingling on my tongue that caused me to salivate for want something a little more malty. This one's missing a fuller body one expects in a winter ale.

D - I may be biased against this one because it's heavy on the bitter hops and light on the maltiness and robustness I tend to enjoy. I could drink several of these and I could think of many beers I would dislike more than this one. I just won't seek this one out.

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Photo of RedLion
4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really think this is a way above average beer. There's nothing on the market quite like it. This brew has a wonderful winter spicyness that I havn't found in any other beer. Truely a perfect compliment for a cold winter night. Like all Redhooks, this beer pours almost too clean, with a good head. But, who really cares how about a beer looks? The important thing is how this tastes. Flavors present are nutmeg and cinammon. It's too bad I can only find it during the winter.

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Photo of BlitzShadow
3.21/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with a newer label than the one pictured (as of 2/27/06) and an embossed "Bottled" date on the bottom-right of the label.

Appearance: Nice reddish-brown hue. 1/2 beige head with impressive retention and lace.

Smell: I detect a fate toasted caramel scent accompanied with some citrus.

Taste: The taste presents the caramel and a toasted malt flavor. The hops add the bitterness and aroma, but I would say to a mild to medium extent. The fruity and spice flavors add to the mix. The alcohol is detectable, but not immediately.

Mouthfeel: Thin-to-medium and smooth body. The carbonation is right on track.

Drinkability - A tasty winter treat that (at 6.0%) will warm you up nice. Also, the alcohol is balanced well with the malt and hops making it easy to drink several before noticing its "warmth".

Notes: It may not be exceptional (a little on the thinner side for a winter beer), but definitely worthy of a six-pack in the fridge for the winter months.

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Photo of VtBrew
3.13/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Color-Dark Red almost garnet like. Head is frothy long lasting and nice lacing.

Aroma-Deep Malty warm aroma caramel notes light hop aroma.

Taste- Strong alcohol taste. Not sure what hop was used but it smells good taste not so much.

Drinkbability- Would be a great winter beer without the scary spice/hop

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Photo of erwin08
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a transparent red/brown with minimal head and lacing.

S: smells malty with hints of carmel and fruit

T: this is a winter? much lighter than i expected. malty/carmel taste to it with very slighty hoppiness.

M: again much thinner, smoother, and lighter than i expected from a winter.

D: very drinkable. doesn't pack the punch of most winter beers. not what i had expected, but by no means a bad beer.

OVERALL: A tasty beer from Redhook. Not your typical winter, but still a very drinkable beer with a winter twist. Worth a taste.

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Photo of kwm13
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer at first appeared to have a nice caramel color to it with a nice head, but upon looking closer, the color appears quite cloudy and the head all but disappeared within a minute.

I get a odd smell out of it, almost smokey, almost flowery...a whole lot of confusion for my nose.

The taste was great, really smooth, good finish. The flavor was plesant but hard to describe. Maybe a little bit of spice to it? A friend tasted it and said it tasted like Bass, but this is much fruitier, not as dry and just not at all like Bass. I've concluded that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

As I drank it I enjoyed it, but searched too hard to describe it to really get the full appreciation for it. It seems like a good balance and just as the smell confused my nose, this is like a combination of personalities in my mouth.

Overall, I really liked the flavor, but to describe it was tough. It's a good winter ale.

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Photo of dteal1
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I'm having this one at room temperature. It pours amber with not much of a head. I can smell the spice in it, but just barely. Tastes bitter and dry, slightly spicy. Mouthfeel was smooth and aptly warming. Drinkable? Not very. Too dry. Too boring. Not as good as the Anchor Christmas for sure.

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Photo of noremorse1
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with a moderate amount of carbonation. Decent sized head that drops off gradually (not before I could get in the first few sips) and a bit of lacing.

Smell is nutty, caramel, hint of chocolate. Detecting a hint of fruit. Spicy as well.Very rich, great smelling beer.

There is a definite presence of malt here. Also, the chocolate smell is complemented by a mild chocolate flavor.

This beer is a little lighter on the palate than I would have expected, but still has a relatively strong body to it. Slightly bitter aftertaste that causes me to take sip after sip.

This beer goes down well. I find myself detecting new flavors with each sip. The folks at ESB have made this year after year since 1985 with good reason; it is a deliciously drinkable beverage. It will not knockout Bell’s Winter Wheat as my favorite winter beer, but I will enjoy this 6-pack and maybe another.

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Photo of Chrisco88
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured deep amber/brown with a small, bubbly beige head that faded quite quickly.

Aroma: Not very aromatic at all, nothing jumps out. With a bit of swirling I picked up some caramel or roasted smells as well as a bit of spiciness of some sort.

Taste: Quite balanced but a little sweet in the end. Caramel flavor dominate with some roasted malts in there as well. Towards the end there's a tinge of bitterness but there's also a nice earthy spice to ponder.

Palate: For the most part it was smooth but below average carbonation left me with a watery consistency.

Overall: Easy to drink and perfect for cold temperatures so can't ask for much more, but it seems all the flavors and aromas are so bland and subtle there's no reason to choose this over another winter ale.

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Photo of DJW
3.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought the last bottle on the shelf at Redmond Trader Joe's. And the brief:
Appearance: med-dark amber or deep copper - clear, w/ a decent head, and lacing still on my empty glass. I thought the beer would pour a darker color.

Smell: light malts and some Cascade hops... more on the citrus hop side of things to my schnoz, but I'm getting over a cold. Inviting (the beer, not the cold).

Taste: nice balance between caramel malts and the hops, with a little biscuity sweetness peeking in at times only to be brought back by the firm hop presence. Finish is lightly bitter and made me salivate ("watery"), which made me want to take another sip.

Overall Thoughts/Opinions: nice and pleasant but not freaking amazing. I think this little option would fit more in a NW IPA category rather than a Winter Warmer, but who am I to advise Redhook? I'll have to try a Jubelale, Snowcap, Celebration, and Sammy Smith Winter Welcome in the near future to see if the Winterhook is more like an IPA or if my preferences/familiarities have changed.

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Redhook Winterhook from Redhook Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.